Steven Spielberg tells Tom Cruise that ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ saved Hollywood

“Maverick could have saved the entire theater industry,” Spielberg tells Cruise in a viral clip from the Oscar nominees’ luncheon.

Steven Spielberg says theaters are soaring thanks to ‘Top Gun: Maverick’.

The Fabelmans writer-director apparently told Tom Cruise at the Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon that the “Top Gun” actor-producer “got the milestone of the year.”

“You saved Hollywood’s ass,” Spielberg says in the clip, which has been widely shared on Twitter. “And you might have saved on theatrical distribution.” Seriously. “Maverick” could have saved the entire theater industry.” (You can watch the video below.)

Cruise’s appearance at the annual daytime gathering of Oscar nominees was a surprise to most attendees. He was largely absent from the awards circuit, taking center stage at the event and being blocked from saying hello and taking photos by fellow nominees Ke Huy Quan and Angela Bassett.

Cruise and Spielberg worked together on two films, “Minority Report” (2002) and “War of the Worlds” (2005).

Cruise’s best picture nominee, the Joseph Kosinski-directed “Top Gun: Maverick,” has grossed $1.48 billion at the global box office since opening last May. The film, now nominated for an Oscar six times, later became Paramount+’s most watched premiere. Amidst the pandemic, Cruise has been adamant that “Top Gun: Maverick” will only be released in theaters courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Paramount reportedly turned down offers from streamers to buy “Maverick” and ruled out Netflix and Apple to get it to theaters instead. “Top Gun: Maverick” remains second only to “Avatar: The Way of Water” for the top releases of 2022 worldwide.

Spielberg previously called the Oscar nominations for blockbusters “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” an inspirational move for cinema – and especially for motion pictures. “I was very encouraged by that,” Spielberg told Deadline.

Spielberg said in an earlier interview The New York Times that the pandemic has “created an opportunity for streaming platforms to increase their subscriptions to record levels and throw my best film friends under the bus as their movies were unceremoniously shut down.”

He went on to say that “there’s no question” that “big sequels” and Marvel, DC and Pixar films “still have a place in society”, especially because of their theatrical appeal among animated films and horror films as a whole.

Spielberg is up for best director this year for “The Fabelmans” as well as best film producer for the film.

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